It’s the height of summer, and if you are one of millions of Americans who plans to take a boat out for some fun in the sun, it is important to keep a few safety tips in mind.

Every passenger should wear a life jacket at all times—especially children. Last year, 84 percent of fatal boating accident victims were not wearing a life jacket.

Never—ever—consume alcohol while operating a boat! In 2013 alone, alcohol use was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of boating deaths.

Safety guidelines and navigational rules exist for a reason. Know them! Only 13 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had taken a Coast Guard-approved boating safety course.

Don’t speed—the water isn’t going anywhere. Slow down and enjoy it! Excessive speed was one of the top five primary contributing factors in accidents in 2013.

Know the approaching weather before you cast off. Last year, 40 people died as a result of weather-related accidents, and 92 others were seriously injured.

I Was Injured on a Boat and I Need a Maritime Attorney

Boat operators who act carelessly are often accountable under maritime law for any injuries or deaths they cause. Latti & Anderson LLP has obtained substantial settlements for sufferers of recreational boating accidents, including $440,000 for a man who was injured when a boat hit a standing swell too fast, and over $300,000 for a woman who was injured when a boat struck a couple of wakes at full speed.

Have you been a victim of boating negligence? Contact a maritime attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: Of the 232.3 million adults in the US in 2012, 88 million participated in recreational boating at least once during the year.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys

Source: http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/AssetManager/2013RecBoatingStats.pdf